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A Swedish P-47D Thunderbolt
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Västra Götaland, Sweden
Member Since: February 23, 2005
entire network: 820 Posts
KitMaker Network: 0 Posts
Posted: Sunday, May 01, 2005 - 04:50 AM UTC
I hereby present the previously unknown and classified story about the Swedish J27 "Åskbollen".

The Swedish need for combat aircraft was great during the mid 40's, especially with regard to fighers. In October of 1944, Swedish officers went to England to study possible aircrafts that could be obtained. The Americans were willing to sell, and during the fall of 1944, the Swedes made a request regarding the possible purchase of P-51D Mustangs and/or P-47 Thunderbolt.

I Februari 1945, a letter of intent was signed for the purchase of 50 fighters stocked in England. Later that spring, 50 Mustangs were delivered and stationed at F16 in Uppsala. The Mustangs were given the designation "J26". (...this much is true...)

The intention was to also equip F4 at Frösön (Northern Sweden) with Mustangs. However, in 1945, reports came that the officers of the north liked the more "portly" Thunderbolt better. In comparison, the Mustang looked almost like a "sissy aircraft" (which could be ok for southerners and cityfolks, but not for the people of the North). Further, they wanted an aircraft that could land in country "where there are no roads". Besides, the wife of the officer in charge of purchases had a figure that was quite reminicent of the P-47...

An officer that had left for Paris in the beginning of 1946 to negotiate a deal for further deliveries of Mustangs had to be rerouted to Evansville, Indiana, and the Republic factory. The mission was to purchase Thunderbolts for the northern section of the Swedish Airforce.

He chose 40 aircraft. Most of them were sadly torb abd damaged, and were thus handed over free of charge. The portrayed aircraft, however, was a brand new plane, stright form the plant. The aircraft received the official designation of J27 "Åskbollen", but was often called "Dunderbulten" by the Swedes.

Despite strict orders from headquarters that the Åskbolle was only to be used as a fighter aircraft, the officers at F4 could not refrain themselves from using it as a bomber (they even renamed it from "J27" to "B27"). The military headquarters got mighty crossed, and threatened to take the planes back, unless the officers "stopped playing with them...".

The final blow for Åskbollen was, however, when local media reveald that they had been repeatedly used for hunting elk in the northern woods. The explanation given by the locals (that nothing else can bring down the mighty moose of the north) was ignored. There was even a photo in one of the papers of a P-47 - all dirty with broken off branches of trees etc - with the corps of the large animal displayed on the "hood" of the aircraft.

Headquarters did everything to silence the story and conducted one of the most extensive cover-up operations in Swedish history (saying i.e. that F-4 also bought Mustangs!).

The last Swedish Åskbolle flew in March 1954. Most were melted down and used for dental braces during th 60's and 70's . Rumour has it, however, that a few aircraft were saved...

So there!!!

Some info; This is my 5th model, Hasagewa's P-47D in 1/72, some odd decals, my first try using Alclad II - No wheathering (yet)! Might do one later that should represent a plane just home from the moosehunt. What do you think!

This has been my first "what if", and I had a blast building it. I would love your comments! Cheers!